Questions remain about the looming L train shutdown

City Council members will press the MTA and city to divulge more information on their L train shutdown contingency plans at an oversight hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who chairs the council’s transportation committee, and transit advocates say the MTA and city Department of Transportation still have not provided information on how they will accommodate impacted commuters once the 15-month shutdown begins in 2019.

Rebecca Bailin, campaign manager for the Riders Alliance, said she hopes the authorities provide concrete details soon so the over 225,000 affected daily riders can plan for the future.

“Everyone recognizes that the MTA has to do the work, but the burden is on the MTA and the city to produce an ambitious, credible plan to help New Yorkers get around town during the period of construction,” Bailin said.

The MTA and DOT did not respond to requests for comment.

The shutdown will make possible major repairs and upgrades to the Canarsie Tunnel under the East River, which was heavily damaged during superstorm Sandy.

Rodriguez said the MTA and city also need to make their plan as environmentally friendly as possible, since the transportation sector accounts for 21 percent of greenhouse gas emissions of the entire city.

“As we work to improve the resiliency of our city in the face of natural disasters, we must also seek ways to decrease the potentially negative environmental impacts by implementing a plan heavily relying on electric buses, and incentivize opting for riding bikes and other greener ways to move about the city,” Rodriguez said.


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